Aviva Premiership: Bath's Joseph starts at Worcester after dead leg

Jonathan Joseph has recovered from a dead leg to start for Bath. David Rogers/Getty Images

It's a big weekend in the Aviva Premiership as Northampton begin life under Alan Gaffney, London Irish attempt to kick start their fight against relegation and second meet third at the Ricoh Arena.

ESPN brings you all the latest team news ahead of round 13.

Saturday | Sunday


Worcester vs. Bath

Sixways, 7.45 p.m.

Worcester boss Alan Solomons has made one change to the Warriors side that secured a try-scoring bonus point in defeat to Saracens last weekend. Former Bath lock Will Spencer is recalled to the side against his former club, replacing Darren Barry in the second row. Wing Josh Adams will be looking to continue his recent hot streak having scored tries in six successive Premiership games.

Jonathan Joseph has been passed fit to start following a dead leg that kept him out of England's training camp in Brighton at the start of the week. He is partnered in the centres by the returning Ben Tapuai while scrum-half Chris Cook is also recalled to the starting XV. Up front, James Phillips and Elliott Stooke come into the second row in place of Luke Charteris and Charlie Ewels, who has been ruled out for four weeks.


Leicester vs. London Irish

Welford Road 3pm

Manu Tuilagi will make his 100th appearance for Leicester Tigers as part of an unchanged backline. Matt O'Connor's side are on a six game losing streak and can recall Brendon O'Connor to the starting lineup in the only change. The Tigers are 19 points ahead of bottom-placed Irish, and could move up to fifth with a win.

London Irish are unchanged from the side that lost to Worcester last weekend, but will need to show more ambition and quality than the five penalties which they kicked last weekend. Relegation at this stage looks like a formality but an away win could kick-start a revival.

Northampton Saints vs. Gloucester

Franklin's Gardens, 3pm

Alan Gaffney took charge this week and will look to turn the Saints' season around as he looks to fight for a playoff spot. A seven game losing streak is not ideal coming up against a strong Gloucester side. Gaffney makes one change from the side that took a beating last weekend with Ken Pisi starting on the wing. Harry Mallinder moves to fly-half, with Piers Francis ruled out through injury.

Willi Heinz starts for Gloucester in one of seven changes from the team that defeated Sale Sharks. Henry Trinder starts at outside centre alongside Owen Williams, while Jason Woodward comes in on the right wing. Ed Slater and Mariano Galarza form a new second-row partnership with Jake Polledri at openside.

Sale Sharks vs. Harlequins

AJ Bell Stadium, 3pm

Sale make just one change to the starting lineup as they welcome Quins, with the injured Josh Strauss replaced by Cameron Neild in the backrow. Sale have won their last four home games in all competitions and will hope to surpass their opponents in the table with victory.

In the only change to the starting team, Mike Brown misses out for Harlequins after sustaining a minor knock. Ross Chisholm starts at fullback in his place and after scoring seven tries between them last month, Tim Visser and Charlie Walker continue on the wing.


Wasps vs. Saracens

Ricoh Arena, 3pm

Wasps captain Joe Launchbury will start from the bench subject to recovering from a cold, Ben Harris makes a first Premiership start in the front row with former England under 20 loose-head Tom West set for his league debut from the bench. There is an unchanged backline that includes Willie Le Roux, Christian Wade and Marcus Watson in the back three.

Billy Vunipola and Maro Itoje return for Mark McCall's Saracens side as they look to gain their third consecutive win following a a run of seven defeats at the end of last year. Richard Wigglesworth will make his 200th appearance as he starts alongside Owen Farrell in the halfbacks.

Newcastle Falcons vs. Exeter Chiefs

Kingston Park, 3pm

Falcons' captain Will Welch returns to the starting team as they welcome the league leaders. That is the only change to the forward pack while in the backline Sinoti Sinoti returns to the wing, Michael Young replaces Sonatane Takulua at scrum-half and Josh Matavesi comes in at centre for Juan Pablo Socino.

Rob Baxter is without Harry Williams (concussion), Luke Cowan-Dickie (hip) and Jack Nowell (ankle) with Tomas Francis, Jack Yeandle and James Short replacing them. Mitch Lees and Ollie Atkins come into the second-row, Matt Kvesic and Sam Simmonds start in the back-row, with Nic White and Ian Whitten coming in at centre